TIP – *BEST* DMV To Register Your Car

Okay, I had a hell of a time registering my little clown car this year. It’s done now so I won’t go over the sordid details other than to say that apparently 1999 Mazda Miatas and smog checks do not get along like peas and carrots. But looking on the bright side, along the way I did happen upon a hidden gem of a government office in Hollywood. And since few government offices can be considered a “hidden gem,” this was a big shock. Now before I continue, please note that this DMV apparently does *NOT* handle drivers license issues… but if you need anything registration related? It’s awesome. I walked in with no appointment and got through the line in five minutes flat. There were only two people ahead of me! Now that I know about this location I will never go to another office.

Service and lack of crowds aside, it has its own convenience store for Christ’s sake, and the architecture and design of the whole complex is strangely Disneylandish:

“Opened in April 2008, the exterior (of the Formosa DMV) celebrates the glamour of the Hollywood location that capitalizes on a 1950s-era retro style and the resurgent popularity of classic American cars.

According to the DMV’s website, refurbishing a 1946 service garage, Shlemmer + Algaze +Associates Interiors and Architecture took the opportunity to create a building with a look-and-feel that is a throwback to the past. Using the attributes of the original structure, contractors were able to utilize the abundance of day lighting already streaming through the building minimizing the need for electricity. Other aspects of energy conservation efforts include state of the art heating and cooling equipment as well as a “cool roof” that deflects 70 percent of radiant sun energy.” SOURCE

Fancy shmancy! This DMV location does have a down side however, so be aware: although there are fewer people inside, there’s not nearly enough parking for them. Prepare to give yourself enough lead time to either find street parking or patiently hover for a spot, and that will ease the stress. You’ll probably spend *so* much less time in line inside than you would at any other DMV that it’s 100% worth the wait for a parking spot. So make note and leave a little early if you have an appointment.

I think that pretty much covers it. Apparently Yelp reviewer Aunny D had a similar experience as well:

“…I have to say that when pulling up to this DMV office (after having visited the other Hollywood location on Cole) I felt as though I was pulling up to Disneyland. The overall design reminds me of a big ol’ gay amusement park with obnoxiously bright signage that proclaims ‘We’re here, we’re queer, and we are the goddamn Department of Motor Vehicles West Hollywood dammit!’ This is a brand new office so you can imagine that everything is spotless, and the building itself is really well-designed; exposed brick walls, polished concrete floors, plasma screen displays, jagged concrete offices, and plenty of shiny blue chairs to “relax” in for patrons. However, there was not a long wait at all. After receiving my number at the front desk I waited for approx 5 minutes and went directly to teller number two to resolve my issue with my car registration (fingers crossed). The man was sweet as could be, and tried his best to help me resolve the huge pain in the ass that the DMV terms “the reason why you should never renew your car registration online.” Yea, thanks for that, I will commit that to memory. TRUST ME. Overall, this DMV is great if you have to get your car registered, however for all Drivers License related issues visit the old run-down DMV on Cole.”

California Department of Motor Vehicles, West Hollywood Branch
936 N Formosa Ave
, West Hollywood, CA 90046 (800) 777-0133
www.dmv.ca.gov

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3 Responses to “TIP – *BEST* DMV To Register Your Car”

  1. New Resident says:

    Seconded! I registered my car here and it was a breeze. At first I was pissed because the website says you can do both registration AND driver’s licenses here, but they gave me directions to the nearby licensing facility, told me my appointment would still be honored there, and my car was registered in about 15-20 minutes. And off I went to get my license (which also didn’t take too long, maybe 30 minutes.)

  2. BK says:

    Wow, I wish I saw this before going to this DMV! I remember waiting in the “parking lot line” for 30 minutes before it was my turn to pull up and take a spot when one was freed up. I literally had the parking lot attendant/security person sit in my car to park it for me because I was so late for my appointment! My appointment still took at least 40 minutes before my number was called–unbelievable… and never again :-/

    • lynnster says:

      I’m a little worried that it might’ve been discovered since I wrote the article… I’ve heard a variety of stories. It’s time for me to register my car though so I’ll know soon…

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